False Albies True Sportsters
Correctly known as little tunny, the false albacore is a drag-screaming member of the tuna-related Scombridae family that, although viewed as a pain in the ass to those seeking inshore and mid-range bluefin especially, offers rip-snorting reaction to trolled spreader bars and daisy chains.
These fish are in the 10- to 20-lb. range and, as one charter captain, “Cool Ray” Lopez
from Miss Liane Sportfishing in Forked River, related last week while trolling side
trackers in the area of the Resor, “The albies were all over and hit the bars like freight
trains. One dumped almost half a 50 and we thought it was bluefin, but it turned out to be an albie that was 18, maybe 20-pounds!”
Later in the summer, as August melds into September and through October, they wreak
havoc on the likes of Hogy Epoxy Jigs, small bucktails and metals. These are 4- to 10 lb.-plus southbound migrants that severely test the guts of spinning and casting (both low profile and round) reels and rods rated as light and medium light. What’s more, they’ll oftentimes venture close and will be within reach of those casting from the beach.
The one knock?
They are considered inedible because of the extreme bloody context of their flesh that, even after soaking in salt water and various other concoctions, still maintains a red color
and somewhat mushy texture.
Hey, anything can be rendered edible, and we’ve tried albies several times, figuring the
previous attempt was not the way to do it. Yeah, they can be made palatable, barely, but, from this corner, only as a last resort.
Shark bait? One of the best!
Still, this vibrantly colored combatant is a day saver when it comes to bending the rods
when the bluefin or other targeted species prove recalcitrant.
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